Posts Tagged ‘travel philanthropy’

Ged Caddick’s Terra Incognita Ecotours Company Changes Lives of Travelers, Communities

June 7, 2013
Gerard “Ged” Caddick,  founder Terra Incognita Ecotours, with Jane Goodall.

Gerard “Ged” Caddick, founder Terra Incognita Ecotours, with Jane Goodall.

Charitable vacations are very popular right now as more and more people long to give something back to the incredible places they visit in exchange for the once-in-a-lifetime bucket-list experience these places give to them.

One of those offering life-changing charitable vacations is Ged Caddick who launched his ecotour company, Terra Incognita Ecotours. with the dumbfounding mission – to give his profits away! With a Masters Degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida, Ged has always been motivated by his passion for making a difference.

After successfully working in wildlife conservation, he launched Terra Incognita Ecotours, a Florida-based travel company with a massive, but simple mission – to give back.

Nine years later, Ged has donated more than $130,000 to charities in more than 7 countries, literally changing lives each and every time he gets on an airplane.

“The business model I created for Terra Incognita isn’t based on profits, like most businesses are. We measure success by how much we’re able to give away – the more the better,” says Ged.

So how does he do it? Every ecotour isn’t just an adventure of a lifetime – it’s a way for travelers to give back to the communities that so graciously host them for a day, a week or even a month. With destinations like Belize, Borneo, Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Rwanda, Madagascar and Tanzania, Ged’s ecotours attract travelers who want to visit the most exotic parts of the globe with an expert guide to show them the way.

“My clients want an incredible experience, but they are thoughtful and responsible,” says Ged. “They want to visit communities in the most remote parts of the world and not just take an experience with them, they want to give something back, too. A percentage of every person’s tour goes directly and immediately back to a conservation partner in the areas we visit.”

Ged doesn’t just donate a check at the end of each year. He takes all of his travelers right to the organization to which they are contributing. In Rwanda, his tours visit the Gorilla Doctors, a non-profit group of veterinarians responsible for keeping the highly endangered Mountain Gorilla population healthy

Ged doesn’t just donate a check at the end of each year. He takes all of his travelers right to the organization to which they are contributing. In Rwanda, his tours visit the Gorilla Doctors, a non-profit group of veterinarians responsible for keeping the highly endangered Mountain Gorilla population healthy

Ged doesn’t just donate a check at the end of each year. He takes all of his travelers right to the organization to which they are contributing. In Rwanda, his tours visit the Gorilla Doctors, a non-profit group of veterinarians responsible for keeping the highly endangered Mountain Gorilla population healthy. They also visit the genocide museum to learn about the country’s past, giving his guests a glimpse of the enormous and seemingly insurmountable obstacles Rwandans have overcome in just 20 years.

“I was humbled by the experiences on my Rwandan adventure,” says Susannah Smith, a recent ecotour traveler. “Not only did Ged show us wild gorillas, which is an awe-inspiring experience in and of itself, but he introduced us to Rwandans – people who have experienced unimaginable tragedy, but remain welcoming, warm and overwhelmingly friendly. I got more out of the trip than I ever could have imagined!”

Terra Incognita’s ecotours do more than just give back financially. Every planned tour gives meticulous attention to environmental and sustainable responsibility. Ged’s guiding principles are to minimize impact and to build and foster environmental and cultural awareness and respect. He provides positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.

“The Mountain Gorilla hikes could be difficult,” explains Susannah. “But since we only carried a day pack, we felt like we could carry our own packs. Ged explained that he had hired porters to carry our packs – not because we needed the help, but to support the local economy. In a country where most families survive on only $2 per day, being a porter is a lucrative career. When we heard other travellers opting not to hire a porter, we told them what Ged had explained to us, and they hired a porter right away. It’s the small things that make a big difference.”

“The more I give, the more it encourages others to give. The inspiring people in each of the incredible countries we visit need the money more than I do. They’ve faced hardships I could never image; yet they are still so warm and welcoming. I can’t think of a better way to earn a living.”

About Terra Incognita Ecotours

Gerard “Ged” Caddick founded Terra Incognita ECOTOURS in 2004 after more than 15 years of working in the Expedition Travel industry. Ged has led many trips for Lindblad Expeditions, International Expeditions, World Wildlife Fund, National Geographic Society and the American Museum of Natural History as well as many College Alumni groups, the National Audubon Society and the Smithsonian Institution. He also lived in Belize, Central America for a number of years in the late 1980’s and worked in the conservation of endangered species for twelve years before becoming involved in the expedition travel industry. It is this mix of expedition travel (a.k.a. ecotourism) and conservation that has helped to shape Terra Incognita Ecotours.

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Africa Point to plant 10,000 trees on Mount Kenya in a web based social networking initiative

November 2, 2011

Africa Point Ltd will be joined by Capital FM, East African Wildlife Society and other partners, Saturday, November 19, 2011, as they plant 10,000 trees on Mount Kenya through an initiative that encourages the use of web based social networking to help save the mountain’s rapidly receding glacier.

The trees to be planted at Gathiuro and Hombe parts of Mount Kenya will be the first instalment of a total of 100,000 trees that will be planted by Africa point and partners within five years.

According to Africa Point managing director Andrew Muigai, global warming has seen glaciers on Mount Kenya receding at an alarming rate and scientists predict they could be wiped out soon if urgent measures are not taken.

“Research compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) shows that seven out of 18 glaciers present atop Mount Kenya in 1900 had disappeared by 1986 and the remaining 11 glaciers had lost between 60 per cent and 92 per cent of their area, said Mr Muigai.

Muigai said the use of social media networking sites is rapidly gaining acceptance as a part of internet marketing strategies in many businesses worldwide, and this can be replicated in the environmental conservation arena.

“Everywhere we turn, we see the constant reference to social media. It is a wonderful tool to spread information to many people, in a very short time,” he said.

Africa Point believes this tree planting campaign will in the long run help reverse the adverse effects of global warming on the snow caps of Mount Kenya.

The event takes place Saturday, November 19, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Gathioro and Hombe parts of Mount Kenya.

To learn more about the Save Mount Kenya Campaign and to participate, visit To learn more about Africa Point visit the company website –

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Loews Hotels,, Raising Funds for Local Public Schools, August 19

August 17, 2011

Loews Portofino Hotel, Orlando © 2011 Karen Rubin/

Loews Hotels is jump-starting the 2011 academic school year in partnership with, a web-based not-for-profit that enables individual donors to provide essential classroom tools for public schools in need.

On Friday, August 19 each of the 16 American hotels will invite guests to visit the school desk in the lobby to help allocate the hotel’s charitable funds to a classroom project of their choice.

One hundred percent of the hotels’ funds—approximately $100,000— will be donated over the course of the day in communities across the country from New York City to San Diego.

“Classroom supplies are the foundation of a child’s success but, due to budget cuts, many teachers are severely lacking the basic tools they need,” said Nancy Mendelson, Loews Hotels Senior Vice President Branding & Communication. “This back to school effort will allow our guests to experience the power of in supporting education and empowering children.”

Public school teachers in the United States spent more than $1.33 billion out of pocket on school supplies and instructional materials in the 2009-2010 school year, according to researched released in June 2010 by the National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA), a trade association for educational product companies.

“We are thrilled with the tremendous support of Loews Hotels in helping teachers across the country acquire the materials and resources their students need in the classroom, especially at the start of the school year,” said Charles Best, CEO of

In 2010, Loews Hotels celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Good Neighbor program by partnering with in an effort to improve public education. Over the last year and a half, Loews’ team members have raised funds by organizing car washes, bake sales, golf tournaments and making individual donations to support education in their local communities. Loews Hotels impacted more than 60,000 students in 2010 with over $130,000 in donations.

Founded in 2000, ( is a nonprofit website where public school teachers describe specific educational projects for their students, and donors can choose the projects they want to support. After completing a project, the donor hears back from the classroom they supported in the form of photographs and teacher thank-you letters. To date, 185,000 public and charter school teachers have used the site to secure funding for $85 million in books, art supplies, technology, and other resources that their students need to learn. Through, individuals from all walks of life have helped 5 million students.

About Loews Hotels
Headquartered in New York City, Loews Hotels owns and/or operates 18 hotels and resorts in the U.S. and Canada, including the newest 414-room Loews Atlanta Hotel opened April 1, 2010. Located in major city centers and resort destinations from coast to coast, the Loews portfolio features one-of-a-kind properties that go beyond Four Diamond standards to delight guests with a supremely comfortable, uniquely local and vibrant travel experience. Loews boasts some of the industry’s most innovative and successful travel programs, including Loews Loves Kids for families and Loews Loves Pets for discerning animals on the road. For reservations or more information on Loews Hotels, call 1-800-23-LOEWS or check

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Gaylord Hotels Package Benefits Wounded Warrior Project

April 20, 2011

Gaylord National Resort just outside Washington DC. Guests who stay at any of the Gaylord Hotels this May now have the opportunity to help Wounded Warrior Project honor and empower America’s injured service men and women © 2011 Karen Rubin/

Guests who stay at Gaylord Hotels this May now have the opportunity to help Wounded Warrior Project honor and empower America’s injured service men and women.

Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is the featured charity for Gaylord Hotels’ Rooms for Good co-operative marketing and fundraising program for the month of May. The organization will receive 10 percent of the Rooms for Good package rate booked at all four of the brand’s resorts.

“Our goal is to provide unique programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members,” said Wounded Warrior Project Chief Development Officer Adam Silva. “It’s through the help of organizations like Gaylord Hotels and their Rooms for Good campaign that we’re able to continue this important work and support those who have given so much in defense of our country.”

Rooms for Good packages start at $179* per couple and include one-night accommodations and breakfast for two. A discounted package rate of $139* per couple is available for active and retired military.

The Rooms for Good program will feature a different charity each month. In addition to raising money for non-profit organizations, Gaylord Hotels will also raise awareness of the cause through its advertising, public relations and social media platforms.

“Our Rooms for Good program gives guests a chance to get away while giving back to an important cause,” said Amy Atkinson, Gaylord Hotels’ vice president of leisure marketing and public relations. “We are honored to support Wounded Warrior Project as they work to positively impact the lives of those who have sacrificed so much for our country.”

Over 40,000 troops have been physically wounded during the current military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands more are estimated to be recovering from invisible wounds of war, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Whether through caregiver retreats, combat stress programs, career and education services, or adaptive sporting opportunities, WWP empowers warriors with the tools essential to not just survive their injuries but to thrive and achieve personal and professional success.

 *The rate varies per resort and excludes tax, parking and resort fee. More information is available at

About Gaylord Hotels®
Owned and operated by Nashville, Tenn.-based Gaylord Entertainment, Gaylord Hotels® is a collection of four upscale resorts: Gaylord Opryland® in Nashville, Tenn.; Gaylord Palms® in Kissimmee, Fla., near Orlando; Gaylord Texan® on Lake Grapevine near Dallas, Texas, and Gaylord National® on the Potomac in National Harbor, Md. The brand’s hallmark— “everything in one place”— provides diverse dining options, quality spa and fitness center services, top-notch entertainment, on-site shopping and endless activities—all within each resort. For additional information, visit

About Wounded Warrior Project

Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) raises awareness and enlists the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, helps injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and provides unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. To get involved and learn more, visit

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